True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 26
26 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
man were going to ride on his back he should have a natural
saddle. God knew what he was doing and, just to show the horse
the absurdity of his suggestion, He made a camel and placed it
in front of the horse. The horse took one look at the horrible
figure and then took to his heels. Since that day, the story concludes,
the horse has never been able to come near a camel without
having the most abject terror and fear.
Now, I don't know whether there is a word of truth in that
whole story, except the concluding part, but I know that you
can't get any horse to associate with a camel under any circumstances.
I once had a very vivid demonstration of the truths
of that. In 1871 Dr. Charley Owens and I went down to Galveston
on a pleasure trip. There were no street cars then, as now,
by which to reach the beach, so we went round to Gregory's
stable and hired a horse and buggy. The buggy was a brand
new one, but the horse was evidently second, or even third
We drove out Tremont Street to the beach and by the time
we got there we were pretty well worn out beating on that horse.
We could not get him to go faster than a slow trot. Charley
was for turning back and making the man give us another
horse, but I talked him out of it, telling him that on the beach
the drive would be better and probably we would get more
speed out of the horse. My prediction proved to be true, for
after we got on the hard sand of the beach the old chap showed
After a short drive we returned and went to Schmidt's Garden
for some refreshments. As soon as we got out of the
buggy the old horse fell fast asleep, so Charley said there was
no use to tie him, and there was not, for he slept profoundly
during the whole time we were in the garden. We came out
finally and, without awakening the horse; Charley and I got in
the buggy, intending to play a joke on him and wake him up
with the whip after we got well settled. But our joke was
spoiled, for just as Charley gathered up the reins and I
gathered up the whip a lot of boys came up behind
us, making such a noise that they actually awoke that old
plug, and he turned his head to see what was the
matter. We did the same thing, and saw waddling toward
us one of the largest and ugliest camels on earth. He was
right up on us before we knew it. The effect on that horse
was magical. I have thought over what he did a thousand
times, but I am no nearer being able to explain it than I was
then. I don't know how he did it, but he raised his left hind
leg slowly and carefully and poked his foot right in our faces
without touching the dashboard. It was an uncanny thing to
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/26/ocr/: accessed June 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .